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May 08, 2019

Remain in Mexico Ruling Devastating for Asylum Seekers

Los Angeles—In response to last night’s decision by the Ninth Circuit that will allow the Trump Administration to return those seeking protection to Mexico for the duration of their asylum proceedings pending a decision on the merits of the policy, Human Rights First Robyn Barnard, who is representing clients waiting in Mexico, released the following statement:

This decision is devastating, and will have life and death ramifications for refugees fleeing violence and persecution. People seeking asylum do not want to leave their home countries—they are forced to leave to save their lives and the lives of their families. Forcing these vulnerable men, women, and children who made it to our borders to then face kidnapping, assault, and murder in Mexico is unconscionable and illegal.

My clients have been stranded in Mexico since January without for shelter, food, or medical care, and yet the court’s decision incorrectly states that Mexico is providing work permits for those returned from the United States. This is certainly news to me and my clients, and to the thousands of other families stranded in Mexico under this policy.

Human Rights First notes that two of its clients, Ariel* and Alec*, are being forced to wait in a very precarious situation in Tijuana after being returned after their initial immigration court hearings. They have been sick without access to necessary medical care, and reliant on the charity of others, because they have no right to work to ensure they have a roof over their heads.

For more information or to speak with Barnard contact Corinne Duffy at [email protected] or 202-370-3319.